<![CDATA[Azarius News]]> http://azarius.es/news/ The Very Advanced, Utterly Cool, Super Duper Azarius RSS Generator v2.34.445 info@azarius.net (azarius.net) <![CDATA[11 tips for a nice trip]]> http://azarius.es/news/620/11_tips_for_a_nice_trip/
Timothy Leary already pointed out how important set and setting are for the psychedelic experience. Set broadly refers to the user’s character, expectations and intentions, while setting reflects the social and physical surroundings in which the trip takes place.

So have you watched your San Pedro growing for ten years and you finally want to have a go at it? Did you order some LSA seeds and have you studied the recipe? Or are you planning to take truffles for the first time? We are happy to share our experience-based insights to make your trip unforgettable, so here's our top eleven tips.

Why eleven? Because we like to go one step beyond.

1) Environment
Where are you going to trip? Make sure you find a place where you won’t be disturbed by the outside world, and turn off your mobile phone. If it’s your first time a place indoors where you feel comfortable is a good idea. Outdoors can be very nice as well, especially if you go to a beautiful spot in nature.

Many people consider festivals a good tripping ground, and they could be. Just be aware that psychoactives make you more sensitive to all perceptual input, which might get too intense: beware with large crowds and loud music.

2) Together or alone?
If it’s your first time with a new substance, make sure you have a friend or other person around that you trust. If this person isn’t taking the substance, or just a low dose, he or she is called a sitter. If you have more experience you might like to trip on your own, which will allow you to travel more deeply into your inner world.

3) Study the substance
Some substances require extra precaution. Smoking salvia, for example, should always be done together with a sitter, and has the best effect in a dark or dimly lit space. Be sure to read around on the substance before you take off.

4) Fasting
The effect of any substance is most clear and pure with as few other influences in your system as possible. That’s why fasting is usually recommended at least a couple of hours before you take something. You can go as strict as you feel like, but in generally healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, juices and herbal teas are recommended, whereas heavy, greasy foods, nicotine and caffeine-containing products are discouraged.

Alcohol is a definite no-go with psychoactives. Be sure check for substance specific interactions as well. Ayahuasca for example contains an MAO-inhibitor and shouldn’t been combined with specific types of food and medicines. Check our encyclopedia to learn more about MAOi’s.

5) Right dose
Not everybody has the same sensitivity for substances. Usually it takes some experimentation before you’ll find the perfect dose for you. And even then personal circumstances like (lack of) stress or sleep can alter your sensitivity. If you don’t know about yourself just start with a regular, moderate dose. To get some idea of a safe, you can check our website, other trusted sites such as Erowid or browse online forums where you can find recommendations and experience reports of others.

6) The days before
Take some time to prepare for your trip: meditate, rest, think about your intentions. What kind of trip are you looking for? Do you want to explore deep inside of your own mind? Do you want to connect with others?

7) Go ritual
Remember lots of psychoactive plants (San Pedro, peyote, ayahuasca, salvia, mushrooms) were used as sacraments in their traditional context – and they often still are. A ritual might help you direct the trip and it doesn’t have to be too complicated. Making music together is always a great experience, even if consists of no more than singing and clapping hands. Or just burn some incense and light a candle.

8) During the trip
Do you prefer music or silence, or maybe both? Be sure to prepare and discuss beforehand with your trip buddy. Do you want to have light or darkness? Candles are beautiful to look at, but put them in a safe spot. Cleaning or decorating the place beforehand will definitely be appreciated during the trip.

9) Get back to your regular routine
Before and during the trip you usually don’t eat much, but afterwards food can be very nice! Be sure to have foods and drinks that you like in reach the moment you’re coming down. Even if you don't feel like eating much, try to do so anyway.

Also save enough time for sleep and rest before obligations of daily life start again, you'll thank yourself for this consideration later.

10) Rest and reflect
Take some time to rest and reflect on the experience. Maybe you like to write it down, maybe you like to share your experience with others.

11) Don't panic
Sometimes, despite the best possible care and intentions, a trip can take a turn for the worse. Perhaps you'll start to feel overwhelmed or become lost in dark thoughts. If this occurs, remind yourself that a trip is always a temporary thing.

If you have a friend or sitter present, don't be afraid to tell them what you're feeling or thinking. If you're alone, comfort yourself with the knowledge that you can pull through this. Try to remain calm and don't do anything rash.

Read more about trip preparations in our encyclopaedia article Using Psychedelics Safely. ]]>
Sat, 27 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/620/11_tips_for_a_nice_trip/
<![CDATA[Únete al Equipo de Pruebas de Azarius]]> http://azarius.es/news/575/nete_al_Equipo_de_Pruebas_de_Azarius/ foolish brave volunteers to help us. Would you like to try our two latest products (Blast capsules & #Slice Blackadder) in the name of science?

Click here to sign up for the Azarius Test Team and make your parents / significant other / pet gold fish proud!

Subscription will be open until 8-10-2014. Please note that signing up doesn't guarantee you’ll become a member.


What is the Test Team, anyway?

For the Azarius Test Team we are regularly recruiting new and experienced adventurers that want to evaluate our products and website. The aim of this project is to improve the quality of our information and to better our product development. Your opinion and knowledge matters!

In every test round two products are selected and will be shipped to our ‘guinea pigs’. By collecting information in a standardized manner about your experience with the product and Azarius, we strive to become a centre for those who are interested in exploring the mind.

We offer:
  • The opportunity to personally gain knowledge on our products
  • The possibility to function as an expert and share your know-how
  • A free test package with a selection of products
  • An exclusive membership patch

We ask:

  • Your serious participation in a questionnaire about the products in the test package and your overall experience with Azarius.

Information about the start of a new test round will be available on our website and newsletter (subscribe by scrolling down!). If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us via testteam@azarius.net

Tue, 23 Sep 2014 13:13:13 +0200http://azarius.es/news/575/nete_al_Equipo_de_Pruebas_de_Azarius/
<![CDATA[Bad trip on shrooms - John Hopkins survey]]> http://azarius.es/news/618/Bad_trip_on_shrooms_-_John_Hopkins_survey/ Ever had a bad trip on psilocybin mushrooms?

This is your chance to do something with it! By sharing your experience, you contribute to the latest study of the John Hopkins Institute of Medicine.

The Psilocybin Research Team at Johns Hopkins is conducting an anonymous, web-based study to characterize difficult or challenging experiences that people sometimes have on psilocybin mushrooms (i.e. "bad trips"). All bad trips count, whether the person later regards them negatively or positively.

If you’ve ever had such an experience, they would greatly appreciate your participation. You can find the survey over here: Shroom Survey

Importantly, if you know of others who’ve ever had a bad psilocybin experience, please send them the link and encourage them to participate. This includes people who've had a difficult experience long ago.

Before, the Psilocybin Reseach Team has conducted survey and laboratory studies characterizing positive experiences with psilocybin. You can access their work here: Psilocybin Research. This new survey is an important extension of their research with this fascinating substance.

The survey takes about 30 minutes and is only available in English.

So, if it concerns you, click that link and help those researchers out. Transform your bad experience by contributing to science!

Shroom Survey]]>
Tue, 23 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/618/Bad_trip_on_shrooms_-_John_Hopkins_survey/
<![CDATA[Mind-altering plants and fungi at Kew]]> http://azarius.es/news/619/Mind-altering_plants_and_fungi_at_Kew/
Explore the secret history of opium (poppy) or discuss the medical benefits of psilocybin mushrooms with experts . Try to knit your own hemp fabrics. Or follow the deadly plants route through the gardens: you’ll be surprised by the amount of familiar names you’ll encounter!

Did you know there’s plenty more plants that can be turned into stimulant drinks next to coffee and tea? You can pick up such a concoction from the botanical bar. The Plant Connoisseurs Club provides ‘food’ workshops where you can sample ‘culturally significant plants consumed around the world’, like betel nut, kola nut, raw guarana and blue lotus tea.

Prefer to get your hands dirty? Sign up for the mushroom workshop. There’s also a pop-up library on poisonous and intoxicating plants in the Orangery restaurant and an exposition of plant-inspired art in the Shirley Sherwood Gallery.

In the Princess of Wales Conservatory films and documentaries are shown, for example about magic mushrooms, betel nut, coca and coffee. Every weekend there’s a lecture, for example ‘Cannabis: drug, herb, medicine, or sacrament?’ on 27 and 28 September.

Obviously in the Kew Gardens, the living plants are there for you to visit as well.

So, if you happen to be in London this autumn, be sure to check it out!

More info: Intoxication Season at Kew and full program: PsyPress UK
Fri, 19 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/619/Mind-altering_plants_and_fungi_at_Kew/
<![CDATA[Cuestionario Cannabis: pon a prueba tis conocimientos]]> http://azarius.es/news/613/Cuestionario_Cannabis__pon_a_prueba_tis_conocimientos/
Por eso hemos inventado un cuestionario rpido; una forma divertida de poner a prueba tus conocimientos y tal vez aprender una cosa o dos. Es la primera de una serie de pruebas y centrase en las semillas de cannabis y vaporizadores.

Sabes todo lo que hay que saber para convertirse en Profesor Cannabis? Bueno, descubre-lo haciendo el cuestionario cannabis de Azarius. Si completas todas las 6 preguntas de opcin mltiple, puede ser que te espere una pequea recompensa ...

Y por favor, nada de spoilers en los comentarios.]]>
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 13:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/613/Cuestionario_Cannabis__pon_a_prueba_tis_conocimientos/
<![CDATA[Psychologists advocate for ending the ban on psychedelics]]> http://azarius.es/news/616/Psychologists_advocate_for_ending_the_ban_on_psychedelics/ The British Psychological Society, is raving about tripping.

A brave new world for psychology?
That is the title of this special edition. A little cautious perhaps, with the addition of that question mark at the end. Because if it's up to the British psychologists, this new world will surely come about. The following quote is from the article 'How do hallucinogens work in the brain?'

"There is a real sense that we are exploring something destined to become the ‘next big thing’ in psychopharmacology."

What is awareness anyway?
In the opening article professor David Nutt does not try to hide his enthusiasm. According to him a psychedelic trip is one of the most interesting experiences a person can have. An experience that provides us with the opportunity to learn about our awareness. He cites consciousness researcher, psychotherapist and psychiatrist Stanislav Grof.

"Psychedelics, used responsibly and with proper caution, would be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology or the telescope is for astronomy. These tools make it possible to study important processes that under normal circumstances are not available for direct observation."

This quote dates back to 1975. It's now 2014, almost 40 years have gone by. The Hubble Space Telescope, the Large Hadron Collider – we know so much more about stars and molecules. But our understanding of our awareness hasn't gotten much further.

End of scientific censorship
Due to the repression of psychedelic substances, research into them has practically halted. David Nutt on this:

"To me – and I speak here as a former Chair of the UK government’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs – the justification for the banning was a concoction of lies about their health
impacts coupled with a denial of their potential as research tools and treatments."

"The failure of the scientific community, particularly neuroscientists, to protest the denial of research on hallucinogens is one of the most disturbing failures of science leadership in the past century, and it must be rectified."

Statements that we can only endorse.

This edition is available online
This September edition of The Psychologist came out just recently. In total the journal contains six articles, covering subjects like the use in archaic cultures, Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), the psychedelic experience as described in literature and therapeutic possibilities. We're going to sit down and take some time for this publication and we'll undoubtedly report back to you. For the curious: all articles are available to read and download (pdf). ]]>
Mon, 15 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/616/Psychologists_advocate_for_ending_the_ban_on_psychedelics/
<![CDATA[Gathering of the psychedelic tribe: party for a better world]]> http://azarius.es/news/615/Gathering_of_the_psychedelic_tribe__party_for_a_better_world/
This summer Azarius strolled around at Boom in Portugal and at Psy-Fi "inside the Vortex" in the Netherlands. It’s not just the omnipresent artworks and decoration of these festivals that are inspired by the psychedelic experience; or the music that tries to grasp and induce altered states of consciousness; the whole festival is actually designed to experiment with and apply the insights that such an experience provokes.

The festival is a large playground where participants can play with their identity: dressing up in the most remarkable outfits or get loose with face and body painting. Besides music stages Boom and Psy-Fi featured areas dedicated to spirituality and healing where one could go for massages, tantra workshops, meditation, yoga, diverse ceremonies and therapies. As truffles are legal in the Netherlands, it was even possible to hold truffle ceremonies at Psy-Fi, which took place in the most far-away tipi during the night.

Boom, a bi-annual gathering around the full moon of August, was celebrating its 10th edition this year. The life-rhythm of this one-week psychedelic society on the dusty hills of a large lake alternates between swimming, partying and meeting up with people from all over the world - visitors from 152 countries were present!

There were lectures and group discussions on a broad range of topics, drug-testing points and the ‘Kosmicare’: a first-aid post for people having difficult (trip) experiences. Large gardens with flowers, veggies and herbs–for picking - were constructed using the compost from the toilets of the previous edition. Aiming to reduce the festival’s carbon footprint people coming by bike could get in for free.

Psy-fi featured its second edition, but this one was much larger than the first. In the watery Dutch landscape multiple music stages, a sacred island and a magical forest arose.

What are these festivals all about? Is it just one week of partying and getting out of our daily routines? Or is it also about taking back home truckloads of inspiration and ideas to integrate in the ‘real world’ afterwards? - Often these festivals are called a transformative experience. - Is this an upsurge of hippie-ism, merged with ‘new’ techniques like electronic music, installations, projections and light-effects? Is it about creating the perfect trip environment? Maybe it’s about all of this. And about dancing, dancing and dancing of course.
Tue, 09 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/615/Gathering_of_the_psychedelic_tribe__party_for_a_better_world/
<![CDATA[Meatballs! Azarius site now in Swedish]]> http://azarius.es/news/614/Meatballs_Azarius_site_now_in_Swedish/
Our northern friends can navigate the Azarius website in their own rather odd looking language. Everything from category descriptions to the checkout process and customer service information has been translated for your shopping convenience.

It's the least we could do for you guys, seeing as how we're such big fans of IKEA and meatballs.

Check out the Swedish version of our website here: Azarius.se, or simply choose the Swedish flag from the language selection menu near the top of the page.

- Team Azarius]]>
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/614/Meatballs_Azarius_site_now_in_Swedish/
<![CDATA[Coffee at Azarius: be a conscious user!]]> http://azarius.es/news/611/Coffee_at_Azarius__be_a_conscious_user/
Interestingly, the debate around the drug caffeine seems to revolve solely around the preparation. Where one person is perfectly happy with a cup of joe prepared in the famous Senseo machine, the other only drinks coffee that was prepared in an espresso machine that can produce a pressure of at least 15 bar. No one talks about the effects on body and mind. And that’s a shame, as it is potent stuff, that you can greatly benefit from. Although it can just as easily ruin your day.

Recently published research showed that caffeine has a positive effect on the memory. A group of 160 subjects looked at a series of pictures. They then either got a placebo or a caffeine pill that equals a regular cup of coffee. One day later, the subjects were tested for recognition of the images.

Those who received a shot of caffeine turned out to be better at that. The difference was in the details, they mainly did better when discerning images with small differences. Source: nature neuroscience.

Athletes also benefit from caffeine. A good cup of coffee makes you both more alert and more energetic. Your reaction speed increases and you get the feeling that things just go a bit easier. Caffeine is certainly a performance enhancing drug, suitable for both endurance sports and interval sports (football, hockey, tennis….). The best moment to grab a dose is an hour before the match.

Don’t overdo it. You won’t be riding up a hill like Lance Armstrong just by drinking latte machiato’s. The sweet spot lies between 3-6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram body weight. If you go over that, you will get the reverse effect of what you are aiming for.

Too much is never good. An overdose of caffeine – why wouldn’t we call it by its name – creates both physical and mental problems. An increased heart rate and overstimulated bowels. A rushed feeling, irritability, nervousness, sleeplessness. You will no doubt recognize it, we’ve all had a doppio too many in our day.

Like most other stimulants, the effects of caffeine differ with every person. But how much of it do you use? You never really know. On average, the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee lies between 90 and 225 milligrams. It's a very rough average, as the same serving of coffee can vary as much as 300 milligrams between this day and the next.

If you really want to get the most out of caffeine, you cannot leave the dose to chance. You need to know exactly how much you are getting, so you can take the dose that works best for you. And that’s where BLAST caffeine capsules come in. By taking caffeine in capsule form, you know exactly what you get.

Maybe your mom wants a jar of her own?]]>
Fri, 22 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/611/Coffee_at_Azarius__be_a_conscious_user/
<![CDATA[Azarius experiences: GHB]]> http://azarius.es/news/609/Azarius_experiences__GHB/
It's often said that it’s very important to research a substance that influences your consciousness, before you use it. This makes perfect sense of course, but what if the substance in question is new? What if the long-term effects are unknown? It's impossible to really know everything about a given substance if research is lacking. A sad example of this is my experience with GHB. This is the tale of a substance that was once thought to be harmless.

'Mostly harmless'
When I was sixteen years old, my brother gave me the Dutch drugs bible 'Uit je bol' written by Gerben Hellinga and Hans Plomp. Although I had only smoked a few joints in my young life, I tore through this book in one go. It fascinated me immensely that one’s consciousness could be so easily and deliberately manipulated. Hans and Gerben described the pros and cons of all kinds of substances with a light-hearted tone. Armed with all this information, I started experimenting with mushrooms, salvia, ecstasy and DMT. I especially enjoyed psychedelics.

When I was twenty, back in 2002, my group of friends and I came into contact with GHB. We opened our 'Uit je bol' guide and quickly looked up what our gurus said about this stuff. We read: "GHB gives a relaxed yet energized feeling, removes sexual inhibitions, is not addictive, is not bad for the body, has little side effects and is harmless by itself. But do not mix it with alcohol, this leads to acute lose of consciousness."

Reassured by these words of wisdom, we took this drug, which at the time was relatively new. It seemed Hans and Gerben were spot on with their description, because GHB actually let us party like a maniac while allowing us to appear at work the next day without any hangover. Not surprisingly, we quickly fell in love with it. We threw our alcohol supply out the door and from that moment on we took a ‘gappie’ each weekend; that’s what a dose of GHB was called in Dutch at the time. Unfortunately, it quickly became apparent that it wasn't such a magical party drug after all. GHB is in fact very difficult to dose. Whenever you take too much, you lose consciousness.

Not all that glitters is gold
Some of my friends had total blackouts or worse, they slipped into a state of delirium. I also experienced some of the severe side effects. Sometimes I’d lie on the floor and there was just nothing expect a black hole in my mind. I would wake up somewhere, not knowing how I’d gotten there. I'd done things that I could not remember, but because the effects when dosed properly where so great, many took these side effects for granted.

My aversion to GHB was growing more each day. In my humble opinion it’s not normal when people at parties are lying unconscious on the ground for three hours. After each incident with me, my friends or the people around me, my doubts about this supposedly safe drug intensified. One day I awoke up from GHB coma and my friends told a horrible story, about me and what I had done that night, but I couldn't remember anything. From that moment I decided that enough was enough. I was forever done with GHB.

GHB addiction
This turned out to be easier said than done, because I still felt GHB calling me. Each weekend without, I felt incomplete. It’s like it was begging me to use it, if only a little. At the same time, a voice inside me said I should persevere and quit. It wasn’t easy, as I was the only one in my group of friends to stop using GHB, but it was a decision I was more than happy with. And still am. You see, GHB isn’t just hard to dose, it’s also very addictive. In my close circle of friends, five people became heavily addicted to it.

I still talk to them now and again. Every three hours they take a dose of GHB. Heavy GHB addicts only 'sleep' in cycles of three hours, because that’s how long the effects of GHB last. Then they wake up and redose. If they fail to do so, they’ll experience withdrawal symptoms like sudden anxiety, depression, learning and concentration problems, stress, insomnia, profuse sweating, trembling, cramps, muscle pain, cardiac arrhythmias, delirium, hallucinations, psychosis or an epileptic seizure. So heavy GHB addicts drink themselves in a light coma every night. This regular 'light's out' leads to brain damage due to lack of oxygen.

A GHB addiction is one of the hardest addictions to get rid of. The withdrawal symptoms of heroin addiction can be countered with methadone, but no such thing exists to help you in the case of GHB. The only effective way is slowly reducing the dose. This is obviously not easy. What once seemed like a fairytale drug for us has changed into a nightmare for many. The new edition of the 'Uit je Bol' guide tells a completely different story of GHB. It’s definitely not mostly harmless any more.

A cautionary tale
I want to clarify that I don’t hold a grudge against writers Hans and Gerben. Twelve years ago nobody knew the dangers of GHB. And they didn’t force me to take it, it was my decision. I’m just sharing my story with you as a cautionary tale. When a substance is new and thought to be safe, be aware that research might be lacking. Not everything that glitters is gold.

Be smart and take good care of yourself and your friends. Take it from me; there are many wondrous things to experience out there, but tread lightly and thoroughly research what you take. Or simply don’t give in to the unknowns!

Read the Azarius encyclopaedia page for more information on safely taking psychedelics.]]>
Mon, 18 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0200http://azarius.es/news/609/Azarius_experiences__GHB/